What to watch for: July evaluation period

  • 07/08/2013 12:27 pm in


(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

The first of three five-day July evaluation periods begins Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Inside the Hall takes you through five things we’ll be watching for as college coaches hit the trail to evaluate prospects:

· The pursuit of Goodluck: It’s no secret that Indiana is in hot pursuit of class of 2014 big man Goodluck Okonoboh. The Hoosiers have recruited the nation’s top shot blocker as diligently as anyone in recent months. And as a close friend of Noah Vonleh, it’s safe to say Okonoboh is well versed in what Indiana has to offer as a program. The first chance to see Okonoboh up close this summer for coaches will be Thursday morning in Indianapolis as the Mass Rivals, an adidas AAU program that also produced Vonleh, will play in the adidas Invitational. Okonoboh is a potential program changer defensively because of his shot blocking prowess.

· How will Indiana fill out the rest of 2014? The Hoosiers already have a great start to the 2014 class with Marion guard James Blackmon Jr. But the potential for another top 10 (or higher) class is there with Okonoboh, Dante Exum, LeRon Black, Devin Robinson, Phil Booth and several others still on the board. Exum doesn’t figure in for July because he won’t play in any NCAA certified events, but everyone else listed will and how closely each player is tracked this month could shed a little more light on who the top priorities are. July was a pivotal month last year in IU’s pursuit of Vonleh and Troy Williams and we may look back in a few months and say the same about this July and IU’s top 2014 targets.

· Blackmon Jr.’s rise: Speaking of Blackmon Jr., his play in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) has been a big reason he’s now in the top 25 of ESPN’s rankings. The future IU guard can continue his ascent with a strong showing in the EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam, which tip off Thursday in North Augusta, South Carolina. In what is considered the highest level of competition on the AAU scene, Blackmon Jr. enters the Peach Jam with the following numbers: 19.3 points on 54.2 percent shooting, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He leads the EYBL in 3-pointers made with 56.

· 2015 comes into focus: As you may have noticed in our most recent update, Indiana is appealing to a broad number of prospects in the class of 2015. The Hoosiers are already laying a strong foundation with guys like Malachi Richardson, Bryant Crawford (who will miss July with an injury), Marcus Derrickson, Jalen Coleman, Carlton Bragg and many others. But as each class evolves, guys either continue to play their way up the priority list or stagnate and take a tumble. With 15 days to evaluate prospects, July is important for separating those who have continued to improve since April from those who have not.

· 2016 and beyond: With early offers out to Eron Gordon, Vijay Blackmon, Quentin Goodin, De’Ron Davis and Tyus Battle, we’ve already got a solid reference point on early priorities for the class of 2016. Gordon, Blackmon, Goodin and Battle, all backcourt players, have already been on campus for unofficial visits. Davis, one of the top 2016 front court players, told us in April that he’s “very interested” in Indiana. This is also a month where we’ll likely hear more about some 2017 prospects like Southport’s Paul Scruggs and Pike’s Justin Roberts.

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  • GoIU811

    With Exum possibly heading straight for the NBA, I feel like the top priority needs to be Goodluck!! That would be a huge sign especially if Perea doesn’t progess much cause we are going to be very thin at the 4-5 if Hanner is a mop up player for 4 years. I like what I have seen out of LeRon Black too, but my perfect 2014 class would be Blackmon Jr(Given), Goodluck, and Exum. Hopefully Cream and Kenny Johnson can make it happen, I trust that they can!!

    P.S. I am one of Hanner’s biggest fans and want him to succeed greatly. So don’t think I’m getting down on him, just saying there is a possibility he doesn’t progress to what we want him to be.

  • skotchie

    Originally I was hoping for Blackmon, Lyles, Lyle but of coarse that ship has mostly sailed. I now agree Blackmon, Okonoboh, and Exum would deffinately be a top 5 class for 2014.
    Remember though at this point in time there are only 2 scholly’s available.

  • SCHoosier

    Alex..was looking at ESPN’s Top 100..LeRon Black is rated up there..but ESPN is not even listing IU as one of the schools on his list. Everybody else seems to jibe with ITH’s assessment. any comment on that?

  • GoIU811

    yeah there are only two scholly’s available, but let’s be honest I really don’t see Jurkin around after this season. it would be great if he could get healthy and come in and make an impact, but I just don’t know if he can stay off the IR. IU is back on top we need our scholarships for elite players that are going to play. I think if we can get Exum and Goodluck there will be a scholarship come available.

  • IU is recruiting him, so their list isn’t up to date.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Leron Black is interesting. He’s on record saying that he wants to play at a school where the coach is a Christian like himself. Tom Crean fits the bill.

  • Arch_Puddington

    — BuenaSuerte!
    — ??!
    — Powodzenia!
    — held og lykke!
    — bonchance!
    — ?????!
    — Glück!
    — semoga sukses!
    – pob lwc!
    — ????????!

    There. That’s “good luck” in 10 different languages.

  • drewmiller1

    I hope we get Goodluck Okonoboh. Just that authentic smile he has on his espn recruit profile makes me want to root for him. We’ve been spoiled with really charismatic players the last few years.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Blackmon , Okonoboh , and Exum ! That just makes me all giddy inside . Blackmon reminds me of Steph Curry .

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Listening to the Early Birds on 790 Am on the way to work today and they left Indiana off his list of schools, and also regarded themselves (Louisville) as the late favorite to land him. Getting my fill of pUke of L.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Who are you referring to? I assume Okonoboh. If so, I’d be really surprised if he went to U of L. I see it being between IU and Duke but time will tell.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    It would be great if he develops into a serious player. Even if all he did was play backup low-post guy, that would be a boon.

  • Geoff_85

    I’m sure he’s talking about Exum.

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    Ok, so 2014 recruiting has been a letdown so far. The Lyles debacle; the Pinson disappointment (after EVERY analyst had him going to IU ’til the day before he announced); Lyle spurning his home state for Louisville. All rests on Exum (who would probably choose IU if he went to college, but looking increasingly unlikely) and Okonoboh.

    But IU still gets Blackmon and has enough talent on the current roster to be good for a few years.

    Love this site. The absolute best resource for Hoosier basketball on the planet.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall


  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    pUKe is trying to rob Exum. Louisville is on Goodluck

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    The Early Birds had a guest recruiting analyst on the show. Can not remember his name. The bulk of the conversation was about Goodluck. Top and first subject actually.

  • SC_Hoosier

    Been reading the ITH boards for a while now, but just registered to comment (finally). Just wanted to post that I live in SC, not far from the site of the Peach Jam, so I’ll be making the drive over to see Blackmon, Jr. at least once this weekend and will provide thoughts about what I see (for what it’s worth). Living down here, I rarely get to get my Hoosiers fix, especially during the summer, so I’m really looking forward to this.

    Hope I like what I see…..